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June 13, 2004

Padraig Harrington


JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Padraig Harrington, thank you for joining us, disappointing end to the tournament, but you played great all week. Maybe we could just start with some opening comments, certainly a great birdie on 18 to get into the playoff.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Obviously it is a disappointing end. You know, after I got into the playoff I had a good chance on 18 to win the playoff. I hit a good putt, had a very good chance running down to the hole, it just straightened out a little bit at the hole and just missed on the high side. It was a pity. I certainly thought the ball had a good chance of going in. Obviously then on the 17th hole, I probably got a little bit overconfident with my birdie chance from the fringe of the green after holing the one in real-time. I got a bit aggressive and knocked it eight feet by. It was a difficult green to have a putt on. It was a very awkward green. I had seen putts earlier in the day break in different directions and I just wasn't too confident of the line and didn't hit a great putt as a result.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Originally were you going to putt the ball on 17 and you changed to wedge?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I fixed two pitch marks and that was it. I definitely could have putted it. There was a bit of grass standing up behind my ball that might have got between me and the blade and I was a bit worried about that, so blading it seemed like the right option, but I just got a little bit aggressive with that.

Q. Was it the same club that you used both times?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: Same clubs both times, so I live and die by it.

Q. What did you use on the chip on 18? I'm sorry.

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: A 58-degree lob wedge.

Q. Coming off here, I know earlier in the week you said you didn't feel you were playing well --

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I played terrible. I played terrible all week. I really struggled. I haven't got the ball under any control, didn't know where it was going to go next. You know, it was one of those weeks you knuckle down and you get aggressive and make as many birdies as you can and hopefully don't make too many bogeys.

Q. How do you go into Shinnecock now off this week?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: It's very difficult actually because the best I could hope for -- hopefully my coach could suggest something, but the last thing you want to do before a U.S. Open is try to find a golf swing and I seem to have lost mine.

Q. Is there any way that you can see encouragement from the fact that you can do this well and play so badly in your own words?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I've often -- I'm a good person when things aren't going so well. I tend to play a little bit better. I can make my birdies and knock my ball down when I'm not swinging the club so well. But you really don't want that sort of form going into a U.S. Open. It's difficult. You don't see too many birdies at a U.S. Open, so it's about good, solid play and I don't seem to have the solid play at the moment. I seem to have the erratic play.

Q. You missed one on 13. Was it just tough to get a read on some of the greens?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: I holed some putts and missed some putts. The one on 13, obviously I can look back at that one and think I hit it in a divot off the tee and played off to the right and looked like I just had a 30-footer straight up the hill and hit the putt okay, misread it a little bit and just really, really baffled me that it went five feet by, had an awkward putt back and it was one of those that wasn't going to break, wasn't going to break, and I kind of hit it with the line that it was going to break on the line, but it wasn't going to break.

So I just didn't quite put it down the right line.

Q. Kind of switching gears, do you think this could be the year -- there hasn't been a European U.S. Open champion since 1970. Do you think the way you're playing or Sergio that this could be the year that you guys actually break through?

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: You know, 156 guys play next week. None of them care about nationality; they only care about who's going to win it. It doesn't make any difference whether it's a European or U.S. player. Everybody is going out there giving it their best. At the end of the day if it's another European or U.S. player, well done, but I won't walk away from it any the happier it being a European or U.S. player. I'll be happy if it's a European and it's me (laughter), but it is very much an individual event next week, and we ain't playing the Ryder Cup at the U.S. Open, that's for sure.

Q. Is it fair to say in light of how you said you were playing that you walk away from this happy that you were able to contend or more --

PADRAIG HARRINGTON: No, I'm delighted -- I'm not that delighted with the result. I would have taken the result. I struggled with my game, yes. Ideally before a U.S. Open I would have liked to have just played nice golf this week and not got every bad break in the book and just sauntered in the middle of the field with a great swing. I've done the opposite. I had a poor week swinging the golf club and kept myself in contention, so it's been a tiring week mentally, and I haven't got really too much confidence out of it as regards swing-wise.

JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Padraig, thank you.

End of FastScripts.

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